Turning computers into trees

It’s a different sort of recycling: Implenia Sweden is turning used computers into new trees with the help of Swedish aid organisation Vi-SkogenWe’re giving them the money raised by selling decommissioned IT equipment to our employees. In 2020 alone we were responsible for planting 600 trees.  

Implenia has been selling its used computers and laptops to employees at a discount since 2020. Lina Norström, Country Function Head PES, came up with the idea of using the proceeds from these sales for a good cause. In line with Implenia’s sustainability strategy, three dimensions are being addressed at once: environmental, social and economic. Therese Ronnkvist-Mickelson, Country Head Sustainability, believes that Vi-Skogen is the ideal partner. 

“Trees protect against erosion and scorching sun. They provide food and nutrition, they’re used as a building material and they create new livelihoods.”

Therese Rönnkvist-Mickelson, Country Head Sustainability 

Vi-Skogen is roughly translated as “We - the forest”. The Swedish aid organisation works for improved living conditions and environmental protection in Africa by planting trees in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Vi-Skogen calls the trees “aid superheroes” and believes that the strategy of planting trees in partnership with agricultural communities achieves two goals at once: less poverty and a better climate. Here’s how it works: 

Trees create sustainability

In East Africa, climate change is affecting farmers whose livelihoods are already fragile. Tree planting and agroforestry can help farmers improve their land in the face of droughts and floods, as well providing food for their families. MORE

Trees reduce poverty

By organising savings and loans groups, farmers can save some of the profits from their operations and invest in their businesses. Vi-Skogen helps families understand how they can improve their finances through investment, product development and local market knowledge. MORE

Trees create equality

Vi-Skogen works from a gender-equality perspective designed to ensure that women have the same rights as men. This is not just a question of fairness, but also an effective route to poverty reduction. If women have the same access to education and resources as men, the harvests increase. MORE

Trees create independence

Part of Vi-Skogen’s work is aimed at strengthening local farmers’ organisations so they can become strong enough to meet their members’ needs more effectively. The main focus is on democracy, planning and follow-up. MORE

Since 2020, Implenia Sweden has planted 720 trees with Vi-Skogen, 600 of these in 2020 alone. Therese Rönnkvist-Mickelson says: “We are all responsible for using our resources wisely. No one can do everything on their own, but everyone can do their bit and try to make the world a little more sustainable every day.”